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Seatbelt Law
New Safety Seat Belt Law - Effective January 1, 2003


The Maine Legislature has adopted a new version of the Safety Seat Belt Law that becomes effective on January 1, 2003. The content of the new statue is as follows;
Title 29a, Section 2081 Use of safety seat belts
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Child Safety Seat" means a child safety seat that meets the standards described in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
B. "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards" means the standards described in 49 Code of Federal Regulations. Part 571, in effect on January 1, 1981, as subsequently amended.
C. "Federally approved child restraint system" means a child passenger restraint system that is designed to elevate a child to enable that child to properly sit in a federally approved lap and shoulder belt system and that meets th requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
2. Children Under 40 pounds. When a child who weighs less than 40 pounds is being transported in a motor vehicle that is required by the United States Department of Transportation to be equipped with safety seat belts, the operator must have the child properly secured in accordance with manufacturer's instructions in a child safety seat.
3. Passengers less than 18 years of age. Except as provided in subsection 2, the following provisions apply to passengers less than 18 years of age riding in a vehicle that is required by the United States Department of Transportation to be equipped with seat belts.
A. The operator shall ensure that a child who weighs at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds and who is less that 8 years of age is properly secured in a federally approved child restraint system.
B. The operator shall ensure that a child who is less that 18 years of age and at least 8 years of age or who is less than 18 years of age and more than 4 feet, 7 inches in height is properly secured in a seat belt unless that child is required to be secured in a federally approved child restraint system pursuant to this subsection or in a child safety seat pursuant to subsection 2.
C. The operator shall ensure that a child who is less than 12 years of age and who weighs less than 100 pounds is properly secured in the rear seat of a vehicle, if possible.
3-A. Other passengers 18 years of age and older; operators. When a person 18 year of age or older is a passenger in a vehicle that is required by the United States Department of Transportation to be equipped with seat belts, the passenger must be properly secured in a seat belt. Each such passenger is responsible for wearing a seat belt as required by this subsection, and a passenger that fails to wear a a seat belt as required by this subsection is subject to the enforcement provisions of subsection 4. The operator of a vehicle that is required by the United States Department of Transportation to be equipped with seat belts must be secured in the operator's seat belt.


 
 
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